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Effective Argumentation

Throughout this two week session, participants will build up the skills necessary to argue in ethical and practical terms using the formats of World Schools and Public Forum Debate.  Topics discussed and debated include the criminal justice system and the price of medicine, among many others.


World Schools is a logic-based form of debate. There is no need to memorize statistics or speeches. Instead, participants learn to use common sense and think on their feet to construct compelling arguments and refute contrary viewpoints. It is a team activity, as debaters must plan out their arguments together in small groups and take turns explaining their advocacy.


Public Forum combines logical analysis with research. Participants learn to fuse their own understanding of a topic with that of experts in the field, using credible evidence to strengthen their arguments. The ability to conduct effective research, and actually find what you want on the internet, is an absolutely indispensable skill, both in school and beyond!  Since public forum is a team activity, participants will form partnerships and work together to develop informed cases and rebuttals.


Seminars are held on a weekly basis and investigate issues relevant to our debate topics. These seminars will require brief readings in advance, and will include videos, interactive activities, and guest speakers.


After the program, participants will have:

  • Proficiency in the common high school activities of both Public Forum and World Schools Debate

    • The ability to conduct effective online research on any topic

    • The confidence to speak publicly and defend one’s views

    • Experience working on a team to build strong arguments

  • Exposure to major contemporary issues and the opportunity to form informed beliefs about them

  • The ability to comprehend philosophical reasoning and apply it to real-world scenarios

  • Interaction with guest speakers who are experts in the topics debated and discussed throughout the program

  • 8 hours of guided learning of participants’ choice, including prep for standardized tests or other topics of interest, such as history, foreign language, and philosophy

  • A lot of fun!

    • We will watch films, play field games, and go on ice-cream runs

    • We also have exciting trips planned, including one to the High Line and another to a center for restorative justice

For preliminary schedule, click button!
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